The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: spirits
medium: notes
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: House-spirits
text: All house and the village water-supply have benevolent spirits attached to them. They are very rarely seen, and then only as a floating light. The water-spirit (ta-kwa-'ga) resembles a ball of thread and the exceptionally lucky see it spinning round in the water and catch it - if it wishes to be caught. The catcher will be successful and wealthy beyond all others.
text: When a dekachang has a run of real bad luck and its rivals succeed over it every time, the hangseoki-'ga, the spirit of the dekachang, is sometimes seen leaving like a floating light, and the young men know that all their luck has deserted them.
text: It seems that hga attach themselves to a house of their own accord - if the house is deserted or left empty for any length of time the hga will go away. When a dekachang is rebuilt the young men return as soon as there is even the outline of a building to sleep in, as the hangseoki-'ga will go away if it thinks the place deserted.
text: (Namkia translated "hga" as "janwar" or "animal" instead of the usual "deo" used for supernatural beings.)